Motivations for conservation: Participation in community-based snow leopard (Uncia uncia) conservation in Ladakh, India.
Shapiro, Dr. Elizabeth
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Community-based conservation takes a “local-level, voluntary, people-centered, participatory, decentralized, [and] village-based” approach to conservation (Little 1994). Similarly to many collective action situations, the success of community-based conservation programs depends on the voluntary participation of individuals. However, in such situations, individuals may be unlikely to engage in group interests unless offered incentives or benefits. Using a household survey, I assessed incentives and benefits experienced by participants in community conservation initiatives with The Snow Leopard Conservancy – India Trust in two valleys in Ladakh, India. Using a comparative case study research design, participants responded to qualitative and quantitative questions that explored original incentives for participation in SLC-IT programs and subsequent benefits experienced. Additionally, questions asked about perceptions and attitudes toward wildlife species were asked to gage any shifts toward positive conservation attitudes. Findings from 52 household surveys showed, material incentives in the form of direct income or assets were highly experienced motivations for participation. However, when respondents were asked about benefits experienced as a result of participation, material benefits were less frequently mentioned. Social and psychological incentives and benefits cited by respondents included moral and religious beliefs, village development, knowledge of wildlife, exposure to foreign cultures, and increased cleanliness. These findings showed differences in incentives and benefits received by participants in each valley, which necessitates different approaches to conservation for each area. By exploring motivations for participation in community-based programs, inferences from these two valleys on how to increase engagement may provide insight for conservation practitioners implementing programs in similar settings.
Subjectcommunity-based conservation, snow leopard, endangered species conservation, collective action, India
CitationHuyett, Alison M. (2013). Motivations for conservation: Participation in community-based snow leopard (Uncia uncia) conservation in Ladakh, India. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/6818.
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